IT'S taken just four games for Adam Clune to become a key cog in the St George Illawarra Dragons machine.
The Albion Park-Oak Flats product, after making his debut against the Bulldogs, has helped the Red V win two of its past three matches.
"I've been pleased with my performances so far but know there's definitely more I can do and improve on," Clune said.
"I'm gradually establishing my role in the team and I know each week is a learning opportunity for me to develop my confidence."
"Continuity is super important and to me, the spine is starting to come together really nicely," Clune said.
"We know it's going to take time but each week, we are looking to be better than the one before.
"Each of us four has a different set of skills, which complement each other - it also helps we all get along really well.
"Nothing in this sport is set in stone but I'm confident we're are taking steps in the right direction to be a successful combination."
Stemming from that, the Group Seven junior, who has two tackle breaks, one try assist and one line break in his past three contests, is embracing the challenge of making the number seven jersey his own.
"There's no complacency from me, as I definitely want to lockdown the halfback spot," the 25-year-old said.
"I want to play first grade week in, week out and I'm going to do everything to ensure that happens - especially as I had to work so hard to get here.
"My confidence in myself but also my teammates have in me, continues to builds each week.
"As a half, I've got to be demanding when I want the footy in my hands and direct the boys around but also be conscious of not overplaying my hand.
"Being vocal is an aspect I worked hard on during the pre-season and the players both inside and outside me let me know if I'm not communicating well enough and this feedback is crucial to building those combinations out on the field.
"If I do these on a consistent basis, that will take the pressure off my teammates, especially the forwards who like to be told what to do."
Clune's Dragons, which consist of six Group Seven talents, have taken a lot of confidence from Friday's loss to the Roosters.
"Last week was another step in the right direction for us as a team and we are starting to play the footy I know we are capable of," Clune, who's body is holding up well after his first four NRL matches, said.
"There's a lot more shape in our attack, largely due to players doing more without the footy, which helps the actual guy with the ball.
"We were probably guilty of going a little one-out earlier in the year but our habits, such as doing those little things correctly, as a team are improving - making us a more dangerous side."
One player Clune is revelling playing next alongside on the left edge is good mate and former Shellharbour Shark Euan Aitken.
"I've played plenty of footy with Euan growing up but never played on the same edge as him until this season," he said.
"I'm loving the chance of playing next to him and our partnership is only going to get stronger the more we play together."
The pair will get a chance to build on this left edge combination, which also features Tyrell Fuimaono and Jason Saab, when they travel to the nation's capital to face the Raiders.
"Going to Canberra will be a great challenge, as they are one of the top sides in the competition," he said.
"We're looking forward to the chance to continue growing as a unit and build on all the hard work we've done at training."